Paris SG vs Manchester City Final – LIVE Reddit Soccer 29/09/2021
The Argentine, who played under City boss Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, is yet to score having featured in three games for his new club before missing two further matches through injury. “He is in a very good way,” said PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino on Monday. Messi could start with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, who are also in the squad. Messi, 34, has scored more Champions League goals against Guardiola than any other player – six goals in four meetings, including four goals in two games for Barcelona against City.
City face the prospect of lining up against a front three of the two most expensive players ever, in Neymar and Mbappe, and Messi, who has won a record six Ballons d’Or. “With this amount of quality I don’t know how to stop them,” said Guardiola. “They’re so good. This amount of talent makes it so difficult. “You have to defend well without the ball and let them run when we have the ball. They are exceptional players, individually and they combine so good. “The three players up front can do whatever they want. Wide narrow, wide left, Messi can play right or middle, Mbappe wide or middle. They combine so well, the talent cannot be stopped.”
Parisiens, neutrals and rival fans were finally treated to the sight of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe lining up in the same PSG team during their Champions League opener with Club Brugge two weeks ago, but the Ligue 1 giants were unable to mark the occasion with all three points.
Indeed, an unlikely goal source in Ander Herrera drew first blood with 15 minutes on the clock at the Jan-Breydel-Stadion, but Brugge captain Hans Vanaken levelled the scores before half time, and Mauricio Pochettino’s famed front three could not turn the game in their side’s favour.
Despite an early European setback, PSG have simply swept aside the competition so far in Ligue 1 and maintained their 100% record in the division with a 2-0 success over Montpellier HSC on Saturday, with Idrissa Gueye’s thunderous effort preceding a Julian Draxler strike late on.
The opening-day draw with Brugge represents the only game this season so far that PSG have failed to score at least twice, but Pochettino’s side now face an incredibly daunting run, with Rennes, RB Leipzig, Marseille and Lille lying in wait over the next four weeks.
Furthermore, PSG’s home struggles in the Champions League last term means that they welcome Man City to the Parc des Princes winless in three European encounters on familiar turf, the most recent of which came in last season’s semi-final first-leg defeat to the eventual runners-up.
Having passed the Stamford Bridge test with flying colours, Man City prepare to cross the channel with the wind in their sails after downing title rivals Chelsea 1-0 on Saturday lunchtime, with Gabriel Jesus’s deflected effort separating the sides on the day.
The Citizens are certainly demonstrating their title credentials despite a couple of shaky results early in the season, but they needed no second invitation to stamp their authority on RB Leipzig in their Champions League opener, scoring six of the nine goals on the night against Jesse Marsch’s men.
As a result, City have already stormed to the top of the rankings in Group A and will endeavour to hold that place throughout the autumn and winter periods, but Guardiola is sure to have one eye on the impending trip to Liverpool in the Premier League.
However, with six wins from their last seven in all competitions – scoring a whopping 24 goals in that time, only two of which have come away from home – City will feel confident about lightning striking twice in Paris, and they are unbeaten in their last 10 Champions League games on the road.
Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez propelled City to a 2-1 win at the Parc des Princes in last season’s semi-finals before a 2-0 home win at the Etihad, so Pochettino’s side need no extra motivation to come up trumps in Paris and blow Group A wide open.